Melbourne Writers Festival: How Louis de Bernieres survived being a bestseller

The Dust that Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernieres.
Nanjing Night Net

British novelist Louis de Bernieres will speak at the opening of the 30th Melbourne Writers Festival. Photo: Penny Stephens

British novelist Louis de Bernieres will speak at the opening of the 30th Melbourne Writers Festival. Photo: Penny Stephens

The Dust that Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernieres.

British novelist Louis de Bernieres will speak at the opening of the 30th Melbourne Writers Festival. Photo: Penny Stephens

The Dust that Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernieres.

British novelist Louis de Bernieres will speak at the opening of the 30th Melbourne Writers Festival. Photo: Penny Stephens

Louis de Bernieres. Photo: Penny Stephens

Read a review of The Dust That Falls from Dreams 

In the early part of his career, Louis de Bernieres, fuelled by coffee and cigarettes, wrote four novels within four years. He’s grateful that the first three had been published before the fourth, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, became a gigantic hit, selling millions of copies.

It changed his life, bringing fame, fortune and critical acclaim. But without the early publishing experience, he doubts he would have been able to cope. “I would have spent the money, despaired – and taken to drugs and alcohol.”

The British novelist, fuelled these days by red wine (“it slows you up a bit”),  is in town to talk at Thursday’s opening of the 30th Melbourne Writers Festival.

“I was suddenly invited all over the world. People wanted to know what my favourite smell was and all that rubbish. I had less and less time to write and less continuous time in which I could concentrate.”

That was partly why his subsequent book, Birds Without Wings, took such a long time to write. “It was also the first time in my life I had any money and I spent quite a lot of the time spending the money rather than working.”

More recently he’s been hard at work on The Dust that Falls from Dreams, the first part of a trilogy inspired by the discovery that the grandfather who had vanished in the 1940s had been living in Canada until he died at the age of 96. “What that did was kick off a lot interesting possibilities.” The missing man had married de Bernieres’ grandmother, whose first fiance had been killed early in World War I.

While his subjects are often love and war – war, he says, brings out the strongest stories – de Bernieres baulks at the label of romantic novelist.

“I am very interested in love, but all the different kinds – the love between parents and children, between siblings, or between human beings and animals. There are so many different kinds of human love and I am determined not to get stuck on the romantic one. I’m probably more interested in how you love your daughter than how you love your wife.”

He knows where he’s heading with the trilogy, even if he hasn’t mapped the whole thing out. Indeed he’s written the last chapter: “I’m pleased with it because it’s in the form of an epitaph, so that’s sad but it implies a very happy ending.”

When he returns to England, he has another pressing task. Nelson Woss, producer of the film adaptation of his book Red Dog, has asked him to write the novelisation of the cinematic prequel, Blue Dog, that is in post-production.

“My first reaction was no chance, this is just prostitution. Then he sent me the script and it’s really good. I’m going to get it done by Christmas so it can be out in time for the film.”

But apparently there’s a question of revenge. “You know how scriptwriters always mess around with your story? I’m going to get revenge by messing around with his.” He seems serious. FIVE PICKS AT MWF

Rob Thomas: Veronica Mars to IZombie.

Thursday, 9pm, Deakin Edge

Annabel Crabb & Kate Grenville: Wives & Mothers

Friday, 7pm, Deakin Edge

Laurie Penny on Feminism

Friday, 5.30pm, Deakin Edge

Mark Latham: Politicians as Journalists

Saturday, 2.30pm, Deakin Edge

Aussie Bestsellers: Liane Moriarty & Graeme Simsion

Sunday, 10am, Deakin Edge


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‘Disgraceful’: parents vent anger at children’s hospital parking costs

Parking remains an issue for parents of sick children being treated at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. Photo: Michelle SmithLady Cilento Children’s Hospital concerns raised in JuneLady Cilento Hospital ‘rushed opening’ findings to guide Sunshine Coast hospital
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Parents unhappy with the cost of parking at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital could see some relief in the near future.

The issue has been raging on the Children’s Health Queensland Facebook page since August 3, when the price of parking at the facility increased by $1 per visit.

Parents expressed their anger at having to fork out between $8 and $28 for parking.

“It already costs me $27 to park for my daughter’s monthly medical treatment admission,” wrote Lauren Harrison.

“That’s over $5000 in parking for the next 16 years of her (never going to stop) monthly admissions.”

Commenter Kate Lolive described it as “disgraceful”.

“Having to attend the hospital multiple times a week and also other hospitals and appointments for my daughter with multiple disabilities, the stress of the financial cost and extra stress trying to find street parking or other options available is something that families with sick children don’t need,” she wrote.

The LCCH has more than 2000 car spaces available in the hospital precinct for staff, patients, families and visitors, including 650 in the basement car park and 1500 in the Hancock Street car park.

Both are run by Mater Health Services which sets the price of parking.

In a statement, Mater said its fees were benchmarked against the general area, and all revenue was reinvested in patient care and medical research.

“Mater is aware of the high demand for car parking in the precinct and the anxiety that is caused when parking is difficult to find,” the statement said.

“As a result Mater is working closely with Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital to develop some solutions to ease access to parking for patients and their families and it is hoped these will be able to be implemented in the near future.”

Children’s Health Queensland CEO Fionnagh Dougan said they realised parking was an ongoing area of concern for parents and relatives of sick children.

“The introduction of four-hour parking zones on the Upper and Lower B1 levels of the hospital’s basement car park aims to address this issue and improve access for LCCH families,” she said.

“The four-hour time limit will deem them unsuitable for commuters and workers in the immediate area and nearby South Bank precinct, thereby improving availability for families.”

But parents on Facebook have dismissed the four hour parking zones as hopeful at best.

“What is going to happen if you park there for more than four hours? Are they going to start fining people?” asked Kirsty Butler.

“What if you’re waiting for an appointment and the clinic is running behind? I’ve waited for 2.5 hrs for an ophthalmology appointment for my daughter before as they were running that behind.”

Ms Dougan said the LCCH already provided discounted parking rates for some families experiencing particular hardships.

“These provisions generally assist families of long-term patients, rather than have them incur normal costs for weeks or months of parking,” she said.

But many parents believed the criteria for receiving such support was too limited.

“When I inquired about this, I was told eligibility is being an inpatient for three or more days and holding a health care card,” wrote Cassie Hammond.

“There was no inclusion of outpatient appointments, which for families with a child with chronic and complex care needs are often many and it is often difficult to get appointments on the same day.”

Sharlenn Mizzi accused the LCCH and Mater of profiting off people’s misery.

“We travel 47kms everyday and then pay a nearly $30 in parking fees,” she wrote.

“We have a child who is chronically ill and will be in and out of hospital for years to come. In this admission we have paid close to $400 in parking passes. Queensland Health stop sitting on your hands and sort out this ridiculous situation!”

Parking costs at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital: First 30 minutes $830 minutes – 1 hour $141 hour – 2 hours $182 hours – 3 hours $223 hours – 4 hours $244 hours to 24 hours $28Lost ticket $40Unlimited parking permits are available for $72 for three days or $110 for five days. 

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Jo-Ann Miller integrity question deflected seven times

Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller is “working hard”, just ask acting Premier Jackie Trad. Photo: Chris HydeSeven times asked, seven times deflected.
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“Working hard” has become the acceptable answer to any question a minister is asked about a colleague, with acting Premier Jackie Trad falling back on Annastacia Palaszczuk’s answer from July 13 in relation to beleaguered Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller.

At that time it was in regards to whether Ms Palaszczuk believed Ms Miller was doing a good job. “She is working very hard,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

On Wednesday, when Ms Trad was asked if she had confidence in Ms Miller despite her referral to the Ethics Committee, it was her turn to use the phrase.

Seven times.

“In relation to Jo-Ann Miller, everybody knows that the issues that have been canvassed of the past day and a half are now before the Ethics Committee as they should be,” she said.

“I am a very good colleague of the Police Minister, Jo-Ann Miller, and can I say the Ethics Committee needs to get on with its job without interference, without speculation, without pre-empting all of their deliberations.

“I’m very happy to say that Jo-Ann Miller is working very hard preparing for Estimates and I work closely with Jo-Ann Miller as I do with every single member of the Palaszczuk Labor Cabinet.”

To say anything else would be to interfere with the Ethics Committee investigation, Ms Trad added.

“The Premier of this state has articulated her position in relation to Jo-Ann Miller and this, quite frankly, is not going to be a circus where everybody standing up is going to comment on whether or not they have confidence in the Police Minister,” she said.

“The Police Minister is entitled to have her matter dealt with by the Ethics Committee in a way which is free from interference, quite frankly.

“I do think it interferes, because obviously this is the basis of the questioning about the matters that are currently before the Ethics Committee.

“Jo-Ann is working hard and I know that she’ll do a great job tomorrow at the Ethics Committee, ah, at the Estimates Committee.  We should just let the Ethics Committee get on with its job.”

But that won’t stop the Opposition from asking about it every day during the estimates hearings, despite successive chairs ruling the questions, which are meant to focus on how the government is spending taxpayer money, continually out of order.

Shadow transport spokesman Scott Emerson said he believed that is what Queenslanders wanted.

“We are determined to make sure we keep the pressure on this government, over these issues of integrity, openness and accountability,” he said.

“This is a scandal of this government that that Police Minister remains in the job and we will continue to question the government on why it is continuing to protect Jo-Ann Miller rather than do the right thing by Queenslanders and sack Jo-Ann Miller.

“I think Queenslanders want us to keep questioning this government over this issue.  They understand that the Police Minister should have no integrity issues about her.”

But perhaps the message was slowly seeping in. Tim Nicholls, after complimenting Ms Trad on her new haircut, stated he had intended to ask about Ms Miller, but believed he already knew what the Chair’s answer would be, when he took the lead questioning role at the estimates hearing less than an hour later.

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NRL: Dugan discipline delivers results

Primed: Dragons fullback Josh Dugan said the game against Penrith was crucial. Picture: Chris LaneDUGAN has never played in a final series for St George Illawarra Dragons.
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He joined in mid-2013 after being sacked by Canberra Raiders, along with Blake Ferguson, now with the Sydney Roosters, for disciplinary problems.

But those days are behind him.

Speak with people at the club and they relate stories of a Dugan who is a changed man, mellowed and now a leader.

He sets the standards at training.

The NSW State of Origin fullback broke into international rugby league this year as a Kangaroos winger in the Anzac Test.

At 25, with 49 career tries and 116 games behind him (70 with Canberra, and 46 at the Dragons), Dugan is a key man in coach Paul McGregor’s armoury.

The Dragons are eighth on 24 points and walking a finals tightrope with three rounds left.

The finals charge starts tonight at 7.45 pm at WIN Stadium, Wollongong against Penrith.

Then it’s the Gold Coast Titans at Robina on Sunday, August 30, followed by the round 26 clash against Wests Tigers on Saturday, September 5, at ANZ Stadium.

“We probably have to win all three games to make the finals,” Dugan said.

“We could probably drop one game but ideally we want to win all three games.

“We are not getting too far ahead of ourselves, we are taking it one game at a time.”

Dugan said the effort was there in the 32-6 loss against Broncos on Friday night in Brisbane.

“It was disappointing losing to Brisbane. But we now have to prepare well to play Penrith.”

Dugan said with halfback Benji Marshall back, he missed Friday’s game with a hamstring tear, is a boost.

“Benji and Gaz [Gareth Widdop] play well together in attack,” he said.

The power running fullback loves to roam around the field and aims his runs down the right hand side off the field swooping on Marshall or Widdop passes.

In attack, Dugan acts like an extra centre.

Dragons second-rower Jack de Belin deputised at halfback for Marshall in Brisbane.

Though he defended well against the Broncos forwards in the midfield, de Belin isn’t a playmaker or ball player for outside supports.

De Belin starts from the interchange bench Thursday night.


2016 gains: Kurt Mann (Melbourne Storm), Siliva Havili (New Zealand Warriors), Mose Masoe (St Helens).

2016 losses: Dan Hunt (retirement), Trent Merrin (Penrith Panthers), Eto Nabuli (rugby union), Charly Runciman (Widnes Vikings).

Dragons winger/centre Nathan Green, 23, has signed with Manly for the 2016 season.


Josh Dugan, Dylan Farrell, Euan Aitken, Peter Mata’utia, Justin Hunt, Gareth Widdop, Benji Marshall, Leeson Ah Mau, Mitch Rein, Mike Cooper, Tyson Frizell, Joel Thompson, Trent Merrin, Interchange: Craig Garvey, Ben Creagh (c), Jake Marketo, Jack de Belin, Mark Ioane (one to be omitted).

Are you behind the Dragons tonight?

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Pro-am at ‘Royal’ Hurstville

Teeing off: Wayne Riley (front), Hurstville mayor Con Hindi (far right) and representatives from the six Hurstville City clubs sponsoring the Wayne Riley Pro Am Legends tournament. Picture: Chris LaneTHE 2015 Hurstville City Council Legends Pro-Am will be held on Friday, November 27, at Hurstville Golf Course.
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The important fundraiser for St George Cancer Care Centre is sponsored by registered clubs. It was launched yesterday at the Hurstville Council-run course at Peakhurst.

The event is named in honour of Wayne “Radar” Riley, 52, of Peakhurst who cultivated his skills on the 18-hole layout as a junior.

He said he was honoured to have the pro-am named after him.

“I have played at many golf courses all around the world and ‘Royal’ Hurstville is my favourite,” Riley said.

“Hurstville Golf Course is where I learned and honed my golf skills as a youngster.”

Six Hurstville City-based clubs and this year is offering a $15,000 prize purse. Australia’s top senior golf professionals are expected to play.

The clubs supporting the event are Club Central, Club Rivers, Club Grandviews, Mortdale RSL, Penshurst RSL and St George Maso’s, Mortdale.

Enter team of three: 9553 4288.

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Quiet please: A plea for peace in the library

A quiet spot, no way: Theresa Kot says the council should spend money for a community centre and take “socialising” out of the library. Picture: John VeageLIBRARY regular Theresa Kot used to wonder if she was the only person who felt out of place at Kogarah Library.
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But a number of letters to the Leader in recent weeks (see extracts, below) criticising the library’s operations have confirmed her observations.

As is her lifetime habit, she goes in to do some quiet reading or research but can’t find the “quiet” bit anywhere.

“So, you walk into the library — and you ask yourself, am I in the right place?” she said. “The library space provides many more services and social facilities than could be anticipated of a library.

“None of these services and activities bring in an income for the library but the noise and disruptions created with these social activities do disturb the quiet environment sought by those using the library for educational purposes.”

Services on offer at the library include a child-minding or play centre for infants and toddlers coming with their parents and grandparents; commercial private tutorial services for private students; men and women playing board and card games; and socialising by individuals and schoolchildren groups.

Ms Kot said the 10-year-old library was now too small for the needs of the community — the study rooms are always booked — and Kogarah Council should use some of the money it obtained from developer contributions to build a community centre for those activities that do not involve books. Or at least find a way to separate the different uses.

“The two services do not fit well in the same space at the same time,” she said.

“I have been informed repeatedly that the library is a cultural centre and as such it must fulfil the multiple needs for the community.

‘‘And yet, I see that the library has shelves stacked with books and periodicals, and there are computer facilities for library users.’’

Ms Kot, a semi-retired pharmacist, has a few interim suggestions for improved library management:

– Put up signs in the library bringing attention to unacceptable behaviours.

– Remove commercial tutoring activities, child-minding and play-centre activities, social groups playing cards or board games, and people talking on the phone.

– Remove anyone eating and drinking in the library.

– No public address equipment or loud music playing during library hours.

– Better policing by staff.

– Move ‘‘cultural’’ and ‘‘socialising’’ activities to after-hours.

– The council should reinstate the lost art gallery space planned for the building at 79-87 Princes Highway.


‘‘Kogarah Library aims to provide a customer-focused library service that is responsive to the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of the local community.

‘‘The library is a welcoming community space providing resources and programs to support literacy and lifelong learning.

‘‘Kogarah Library has over 30,000 members and received over 317,000 visits last year. The library caters to a broad multicultural community and provides a variety of collections, programs and events for all ages.

‘‘The success of the library is evident in the fact that we have a very busy library with all of the events and activities being well attended.’’

There was no reference to Ms Kot’s concerns.

Do you agree with Ms Kot’s views on Kogarah library, or libraries in general? Click on the comment link below to share your view.

Separate spaces – excerpts from letters to the Leader re Kogarah Library:

Libraries used to be quiet places for reading, study and computer use. Today I walk away irritated by these varied, noisy, activities around me. My request to Kogarah Council: give me a library where I can work without constant noisy distractions. Move child-minding and child-play activities for infants and toddlers out of the library. Remove private commercial tutoring services from the library. Provide children with a suitable skate park. Terri Scott

I fully agree with Terri Scott. Most days I make use of the computer service at Kogarah Library, which I am very grateful for. However, many times there are inconsiderate people talking on mobiles, playing YouTube aloud and not on silent, children crowding a single computer chatting and screeching — all totally impervious and uncaring of others wanting a quiet place to do their work — which was what a library used to be.

Many people either don’t know the rules of a library or just don’t care. It’s time for some stringent enforcement to make Kogarah Library an ambient place in which to do one’s work, reading and study. Mark Schofield

I too have spoken to the staff at Kogarah Library over the constant excessive noise. The staff are too scared to ‘‘chat’’ to anyone who might stand up to them. Whatever happened to signage stating ‘‘Quiet, please!’’ in libraries and staff with the guts to enforce it. Joe Gale

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Lobbyists will ‘stop at nothing’ —Toole

A PUBLIC meeting in Lithgow has beenwarned that environmental lobbyists willstop at nothing to achieve their goals inshutting down the mining industry.
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The extreme lobbyists, it was claimed,would pursue their own ideology with totaldisregard for the community at large or thepain inflicted.

The comments came during a communitymeeting at Club Lithgow on Friday tohear the latest developments in the longdelayed process of approval for theSpringvale Colliery extension project.

Three years of delays — much of thisblamed on environmental activists — hasmeant that around 300 Springvale workerswill be taking indefinite enforced leave fromthis week until the approvals are confirmed.

It was only on Friday after intense lobbying‘by the other side’ in support ofSpringvale that the first stage of the finalthree pronged process was approved.

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said themining industry is being increasinglyattacked by various environmental groups.

“It is frustrating that the attacks usuallycome from well funded activists who will doall they can to stop this project,” he said.

“They will stop at nothing includingseeking legal injunctions.”

This has to be countered by confirmingthe importance of the mining industry tocommunities like Lithgow.

Lithgow Council is currently campaigningto have submissions on mining applicationsto be restricted to residents of the localgovernment areas affected.

In the Springvale case submission werereceived from Perth and even from overseas.

Mr Toole said he was totally opposed to asecond PAC hearing on the Springvale issue.

He said the Premier has instructed hisdepartments to ‘get moving’.

“There has been too much stuffingaround,” he said — a sentiment that attractedno disagreement.

Centennial’s Katie Brassil said it hadbeen 1030 days (‘and counting’) since theapplication was first submitted.

She said it was frustrating that very timeagreement was reached on some aspect‘they again shift the goal posts’.

Ms Brassil said that Centennial hasobtained legal advice that there could notbe any so called ‘merit appeal’ against thePAC approval.

She said it was now up to the PAC toexpedite its review of the amendments fromthe department of Environment andPlanning and Centennial was looking forwardto the PAC confirming its previous recommendationso the matter could go toCanberra for a final tick.

Ms Brassil said it was a distressing situationthat the prolonged delays meant theSpringvale workforce — with all of its personalfinancial obligations — will be out ofwork until approvals are confirmed.

She urged the community to ‘stay strongand look after each other’.

By Monday the fleeting optimism for abreakthrough had evaporated afterEnvironment Minister Rob Stokes instructedthe PAC to do it all again.

It was a turnaround that has bothstunned and angered the local community.

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Footy tipping heats up

FOOTY TIPS: Footy tippers Joanne Rilstone and John Strycharski are both in the race to win this year’s Port Lincoln Times footy tipping competition, which has three rounds to go.THE Port Lincoln Times footy tipping competition is heating up and tippers are getting nervous as the battle for the $2000 prize money comes close to an end.
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Only one correct tip separates the top four and two tips separate the top seven with three rounds of tipping to go, so it is still anyone’s chance.

The winner of this year’s Times footy tipping competition will walk away with $2000 cash, while second place will take home $750 and third place will win a $500 Drakes Foodland voucher.

Sitting atop the tipping ladder is Joanne Rilstone, who has maintained the lead for a considerable chunk of the season.

Mrs Rilstone said she was a die-hard football fan, which helped her with her tipping, and has always been an avid supporter of the Adelaide Crows.

“I’m a real football fan and watch every game every week,” she said.

“Every night we watch some sort of football program on Foxtel and at the end of the day I pick one.”

Mrs Rilstone is equal with John Nippress and maintains the lead with a better margin difference while Terry Edwards and John Strycharski are only one tip behind, with slightly worse margin differences.

Mr Strycharski said his tipping tactics were a lot different to Mrs Rilstone’s, as he kept his emotion away from the game in order to tip logically.

“I look at the ins and outs, but don’t watch a lot of the football,” he said.

“I hate watching it when it’s close – I might like a certain team to win but I barrack for the team I tipped.”

Mrs Rilstone is currently in the box seat to take out the top prize, however she said she knew tipping consistently from here on was important.

“The last few weeks have been nerve-racking,” she said.

“I can’t afford to drop one or two tips.”

Mrs Rilstone said she had held the lead through consistent tipping and was determined to continue her form to take out the major prize.

However she said she thought Mr Nippress (second place) was her biggest threat and it was definitely going to be close at the end of the season.

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Councillor moves on from Lincoln

GARDEN: Councillor Travis Rogers is leaving Port Lincoln to move to Queensland with his partner.PORT Lincoln City Councillor Travis Rogers attended his last council meeting on Monday as he prepares to move to Queensland with his partner.
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Mr Rogers had given notice previously of his intention to step down as councillor as he prepares to move to Gladstone.

Mr Rogers said the decision to step down came about after his partner was offered a job in Gladstone, which meant leaving Port Lincoln after living in the town for about 13 years.

“It’s important we support each other and what we want to do in life,” he said.

Mr Rogers was first elected to the Port Lincoln City Council in 2010 and was re-elected in the council election last year.

In his address to council, Mr Rogers thanked all councillors and staff he worked with for the past five years and said he had learned so much from his time as being a leader.

“Being a community leader shouldn’t be taken for granted, it’s an honour to be in that role and I learned so much from every other council member and staff along the way,” he said.

“I’m proud of the fact that the council is more inclusive and more representative of the community as it is, it has more of a social agenda, is more youth focused and has great guiding documents including long-term financial plans and infrastructure plans to ensure financial sustainability.”

One thing Mr Rogers would like to see happen in the future is to see the Murray Point area become an open recreational area, based on its environmental value.

In his address, Port Lincoln mayor Bruce Green thanked Mr Rogers for his service and credited him as always being considered, respectful and progressive.

The council’s chief executive officer, Rob Donaldson, also thanked him for his service and commended his ability to work through any difficulties.

As well as serving as a community leader, Mr Rogers has been an active member the community, including through the Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service and West Coast Youth and Community Support.

He said as a drug and alcohol mental health worker he walked alongside people as they made positive changes in their lives and helped with several initiatives, including the services bush tucker garden.

One thing he aims to do in Gladstone is finish his degree in clinical psychology, with the goal of eventually going into his own practice.

Out of everything in the community, Mr Rogers said he would miss the people, the connections and the friendships he made during his time in Port Lincoln, but they wouldn’t be forgotten.

“Thank you to everyone who chose to support me and my ideas, particularly my fellow councillor colleagues and staff, and mayor Bruce (Green) for being a wonderful mentor for myself,” he said.

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‘Speechies’ have positive impact

SPEECHIES: Port Lincoln speech pathologists (back) Sarah Wallis, Majella Mrdjen, Kerri Trengove, Tamara Strudwick; front: Georgie Turner and Amber Lovell are raising awareness for Speech Pathology Week.LOCAL speech pathologists will host a story time day at the Port Lincoln Library next Tuesday to raise awareness about the service they provide as part of Speech Pathology Week.
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Coinciding with the 2015 Book Week, the story time day will give local speech pathologists from the education department an opportunity to show the public what they do to help.

Department for Education and Child Development speech pathologist Majella Mrdjen said there were a range of different people that “speechies” worked with.

She said however when it came to the education department, it was about building communication skills and fixing speech issues with young people.

“For children with speech or language issues, early intervention is key,” Ms Mrdjen said.

“If parents notice any issues, speech pathologists can help out.”

Next week the Book Week winners will also be announced and the library will be abuzz with young students.

Speech Pathology Week aims to raise awareness about the work speech pathologists do in their communities and the positive affect they have on young people in society.

There are more than 1.1 million Australians that have difficulty communicating, which is on-par with the number of people with diabetes and three times the number of people with dementia.

Ms Mrdjen said being able to communicate effectively was a crucial skill throughout day-to-day life and next week would highlight the importance of speech pathology to the local community.

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Shire shows its support for city’s bypass

Tony Doyle
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HINDMARSH Shire Council has thrown its support behind a proposed Western Highway bypass of Horsham.

Council made a submission about the project to VicRoads this month.

Chief executive Tony Doyle said removing heavy traffic from Horsham city was important for the Wimmera.

He said it was also important to reduce travel times for people travelling across the region.

Mr Doyle said council did not identify a preferred route.

“Given Hindmarsh Shire Council is not a representative body for these impacted parties, council believes it would be inappropriate for it to identify a preferred route, and rather focus its submission onHindmarsh shire,” he said.

Mr Doyle acknowledged each route had effects for houses, farms and amenities at Riverside and Dooen Heights.

He said council included a number of points in its submission to VicRoads, such as safety forHorsham residents andeconomic benefits.Council also raised the possibility of linking the bypass to the Wimmera and Henty highways in the future.

He said council hoped works on the bypass would start as soon as possible.

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OUR SAY: A Ronald McDonald House we can truly call our own

FOR so many years the name Ronald McDonald House was synonymous as a place in Sydney where families from Orange and the Central West could stay while their child was were receiving specialist care that was not available in the region.
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Fast forward to 2015 and now it is Orange’s Ronald McDonald House that is the leading the way in the provision of a facility for the people of the Central West they can truly call their own.

While the volunteers and staff of Ronald McDonald House need no motivation to stick to their task of maintaining Orange’s newly-opened house, the emerging trend that so many families are using the house as their accommodation and support base while their child is treated at the child and adolescent mental health unit is surely an incentive to remained energised and focused.

Families in distress are coming to Orange from five health districts, which equates to 86 per cent of the state, to access the mental health and other specialist services for their children at Orange.

So far 100 volunteers, including those who stay overnight, have come forward to be trained to work as volunteers at the house in a variety of roles.

However, as the number of families using the house continues to grow and it reaches its capacity daily, another 100 volunteers are needed to ensure the seven-day-a-week, 24-hour roster runs smoothly.

Orange and Central West residents should feel proud they have raised more than $4 million to build the house in Orange, and the occupancy so far by so many families who are experiencing the trauma of a child or adolescent struggling with a mental health problem is proof of the incredible generosity of the local and regional community who are making a difference in people’s lives.

The launch at the Ronald McDonald House ball on Saturday night of the “Can You Help Us Keep the Doors Open” campaign will take on a special significance now that the house is making such a difference to people’s lives.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Mission accomplished as Ungarie chase flag

FAMILY AFFAIR: The Archibald crew, Kris, Reece, Michael, Wayde and Kyle all in Ungarie colours this year.WIN, lose or draw in Saturday’s Northern Riverina League grand final, the Archibald family haveachieved their goal for 2015.
Nanjing Night Net

Ungarie will enjoy their first grand final appearance in 15 years when they run out to play Lake Cargelligo at West Wyalong on Saturday.

It will be a huge occasion for the township of Ungarie and it’s population of 300 as the Magpies look to break their premiership drought than spans back to 2001.

The last time Ungarie played finals, back in 2013, is a story in itself after the Magpies finished on the bottom of the ladder, only to be given the opportunity when the fifth and sixth placed teams could not field the numbers.

Kyle Archibald is one of a number of Ungarie juniors that agreed to travel home this season to play.

He, his brothers Michael and Kris, and cousins Wade and Reece wanted to have a year together and have also convinced friends to make the trip with them.

“The original plan was just for the five cousins to play together for one game,” Kyle explained.

“Things snowballed from there.”

Ungarie captain-coach Ryan McClintock moved he and his family homefrom Canberra a couple of years ago.

Kyle, who spent two years at Richmond as a teen, travels three hours from Yarrawonga every weekend to play at Ungarie.

Wade and fellow Ungarie junior Dave Barron travel two hours from Wagga, while Grant Daly and a mate make the four-hour trip from Bathurst.

Kris travels from Canberra, while Michael and friend,Fox Sports presenter,Ben Way make the long trip from Sydney during all hours of the night.

Kyle explains it is all for one simple goal.

“We want to see the small country community doing well,” he said.

“There is more to it than just a small town, and more to it than just a little football club.

“When we were kids growing up, the culture was great, the pub was packed on a Saturday night and that’s what we want these kids growing up into.”

Ungarie will go into the grand final as underdog after Lake Cargelligo trounced them by 61 points in the second semi-final.

Archibald believes if the Magpies produce their best, they can win, but also explained that the players had already achieved one goal.

“(A win) would be huge, just to get the buzz around town,” he said.

“Win, lose or draw, we’ve already acheived what we wanted to and that was to get the community together.

“To win a flag would just top it off.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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